Monday, October 31, 2011

how we halloween

it looks a little like this:

Our Halloween dinner tradition is......NACHOS!! 
And this is how we do them:

Spicy Homemade Chili
here is my "recipe" can decipher it however you like. 

happy, grass fed ground beef browned with lots of onion and garlic
kidney and pinto beans
tomato sauce
diced tomatoes
ground chipotle flakes
chili powder
a hefty dash of unsweetened baking cocoa
all simmered together on the stove for the afternoon

For the Nachos 
(we like them extra spicy):
tortilla chips
pepper jack cheese
homemade guacamole and salsa
sour cream
green onions
fresh tomatoes
Marie Sharp's  Habanero Sauce (the BEST!)

top, pile, and load them up!
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Trick or Treat
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Happy Halloween!!! 

now let's deck the halls.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

a pig and her pumpkins

I decided to post a super special weekend post juuuuussssttt in case you woke up this morning in a cold sweaty panic because "tomorrow is Halloween and I don't have a costume for __________"
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This costume is about as simple as they come, and could work for any man/woman/child. 
In fact, I dare a grown man to wear this costume--that would  be pretty awesome.

What you need:
-long sleeve pink shirt (this turtleneck was at Walmart for $3.88!)
-old t-shirt or tank top 
-pink pants/socks/shoes (we had all of these)
-pink felt
-hair clips
-hot glue
-heavy gage floral wire
-pink blush/lip gloss
-needle and thread
-masking tape

-Take the old tank top/t-shirt and sew it to the inside of the long sleeve pink top
(turn both shirts inside out to do so). It's like you are making a pillow
Just connect the two bottom hems, and then right at the top of the sleeves so it stays in place.
 This is so you can stuff the shirt and make your little piggy fat, and the stuffing won't actually touch their skin.
The stuffing goes between the two layers.
This is a picture taken AFTER it's all done, but it should give you the idea.
I used a sewing machine to do the job--and it was super quick (and I really, really do not sew) but you could also do it by hand.

-Stuff the batting between the two layers (don't connect the top all the way--you need holes to stuff through)

-Cut ears out of felt and attach to hair clips with hot glue.
-wrap floral wire with felt, twist, and glue to secure. Stitch by hand onto back of shirt.

-Cut a pig shaped snout out of felt and stick it to your little piggy's nose with masking tape.
yep. masking tape. It removes and re-sticks easily and she didn't mind it at all.

Dress head to toe in pink, finish with some rosy pink cheeks and lips and you are officially a pig.


and now....a little peek at our halloweeny weekend.
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happy haunting!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Luke......I am your.....mother.

I present to you:
Luke Skywalker
via Hanes Her Way
in 5 minutes. 


Easiest costume ever, and quite possibly the happiest moment of my little Jedi's life was the moment he slipped it on and transformed into character.
And BONUS: No sewing needed. 
I mean....I guess you could hem it if you really wanted to. 
But I am lazy time efficient in a rush, and the boy didn't care.
Cut a small v-neck into the shirt. 
Continue one of the cuts across the shirt (about 2/3 of the way) to start the tunic shape.
Cut the sleeves. I kept them longish-I liked how they looked rolled.
Cut straight down and out the bottom.
Wrap your "tunic" around your jedi and belt it. 
I put a safety pin in it, because I know he will be light-sabering everything in sight. 
The boy already had white baseball pants, which made it extra easy-but I'm sure you can find white sweats just about anywhere.
I got the belt at a thrift store for $1 and trimmed it up/made a new hole so it would fit.
Made a small envelope style pouch with felt, hot glue, and a metal button.
Borrowed sister's boots.
And if your little guy is asking to be Luke Skywalker for Halloween.....chances are he already has his very own light saber. 


Luke Skywalker.
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The girl is dressing up as a pig (still working on it), but it is also suuuuuuper easy. 
Pink clothing + a stuffed shirt + felt.

See last year's Frankenstein and Skunk here.

Happy Halloweening!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

little letters

Dear Little Tiny Moments like this one,
You are the best.
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Dear 32°,
I am on the lookout for you. Watching for you--the one who will turn my tomatoes to mush--around every corner. So far, you haven't shown your ugly face. But just so you know, when you do decide to come, I will have picked every single green tomato right off the vine so you can claim no victims.

Dear Self,
Why. O Why. Do you always wait until THE very last minute to throw (and cut! and sloppily "sew!") your kids' Halloween Costumes together? Every year.

Dear Halloween,
Let's get a move on already. I feel like you start all the way back in September thanks to the over-commercialism-of-everything, and I am ready for real fall.

Dear Real Fall,
You are pretty.

Dear Thanksgiving,
Am I jumping the gun? It's not even your month yet. 
....I love you.

Dear Winter,
I heard you paid a visit to my sister. Please stay away until December. Thank you.

Dear Halloween Candy,
You seriously make me want to vomit. Yep, I said it......start the booing and throwing-of rotten vegetables. 
What is so good about dusty fake chocolate and hard-as-rock carmel? I would much prefer the sugar to enter my body via cookies, cakes, or ice cream.

speaking of ice cream.....
Dear Haagen Dazs,
Your chocolate and peanut butter ice cream is the best ice cream ever in the history of the universe. 
I ate this twice after my race last weekend and savored every moment 
(as much savoring as quickly shoveling it into my mouth would allow)

Dear Race Last Weekend,
You were hard. Darn that stupid Lyme bug. 
But you were so much fun and I have so many giggly memories from you.

Dear 5 people I rode/ate/slept/stunk up a van with, in last weekend's race,
Let's do it again.

Dear Lauren,
you were greatly missed.

Dear People Who Fill up the Las Vegas Casinos,
I could sit and watch you FOREVER.
where do you all come from?

Dear Zions National Park,
what a treat it was to take a tiny detour right through you last weekend. I hope we can meet again--soon, and more thoroughly.
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Dear Yoga,
my long lost love.
What has happened to us? Once a week is just not enough my friend.....this week lets make sure its twice.
Next week, thrice,

Dear Other Mothers,
Time to fess up:
Is your bedroom clean?
Mine is not.
I like to blame it on the fact that our room in our old tiny house is basically bed sized and we have no where to put everything.
But I think that really, it's just because I don't like to clean it.
And that is the truth.

Dear World,
(Because the whole world reads this blog you know)
Did you know that Whitney Ingram and I are in the final stretch of our cookbook making? It's true.
Just a handful of recipes left to shoot, and then a few final words and pleasantires from Whitney herself, and then off to the project magager it all goes. Watch for it in early Winter 2012!

sincerely yours/all my love/until next time,

Monday, October 24, 2011

over the weekend.....

this is what it looks like when three moms try to act like gangsters......we just look incredibly, painfully, awkward.
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over the weekend I: 
-grabbed a few friends
-quoted 1,027 Arrested Development lines
-wore my favorite cut-offs (yes, to run in)
-ran a few hundred miles across the Nevada desert
-lived to tell about it. 

I will post more details shortly.......there just may be a video in the works 
(prep your self by watching last year's here)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

all about the pumpkin

pumpkins! everywhere!
I don't know why, but I seem to have a slight infatuation with pumpkins.
Every year I think I get just as more excited than the kids, to go pick ours out for the season.
We run down the rows and tromp right into the vines to find the good ones.
I am determined, that someday, somewhere, we will have our own little pumpkin patch.

orange and round.
red and skinny.
warty greenish
white and mini.
I love them all,
pumpkins, pumpkins,
in the fall.
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And just as much as I love to look at them.....I love to eat them too!
I am surprised at how many people decorate their homes with pretty pumpkin and squash and then just toss them at the season's end.
Roast those beauties up, remove the skin, and puree them! The puree will keep in your freezer all winter and you can add it to anything--soups, sauces, breads, and here is one of our favorites:
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes.
This is a big batch--it made 20 large, very filling pancakes.  It can easily be halved, but we had them for our Saturday breakfast and then I froze the rest to pull out for a quick hot breakfast before school.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
2 cups pumpkin puree
4 TBS melted butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 eggs
3 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoon pure vanilla

in separate bowl combine:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 cup whole oats
1 TBS + 2 tsp baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

slowly stir dry ingredients into wet until just combined--careful not to over mix.

Pour onto preheated (350°ish) and buttered griddle.
Turn over pancake when bubbles start to appear on top.

Top with warm maple syrup.
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how do you like your pumpkins?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Fall = Soup. 

Don't you think? 

I could eat soup all day, everyday. Does anyone know of a breakfast soup? Can we invent that?

I love just looking though the fridge and cupboard, throwing my findings in to the pot to simmer, 
and calling it soup.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
Topped with Bacon and Gorgonzola

1 butternut squash, quartered and cleaned
1 large sweet potato, peeled and  halved
2 garlic cloves
2 small onions, halved
1 granny smith apple, quartered
1 shallot, halved
1 tsp dried sage
pinch of cayenne pepper
5-7 cups chicken broth
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425° 
Brush veggies with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Roast veggies until fork tender
(around 30 minutes for the smaller, and 45-60 for the larger)
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Remove veggies from oven. 
Squash will easily remove from peel. 
In a few batches, puree veggies in food processor until smooth 
(you may need to add a little broth if puree is thick)

Add puree to large pot and stir in chicken broth until you reach a consistency you like 
( I used about 6 cups of broth). 

Stir in sage and cayenne. 

Simmer for at least 30 minutes......or if you're like me, maybe you like your soup to simmer all afternoon. 

Top with crumbled bacon and gorgonzola cheese. 
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I'd love to hear your favorite kind of soup to eat.....
links please:)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

weekend exploring

aaaaahhhhhh......another weekend come and gone. 
The weather was absolutely perfect, the trees on fire, and we couldn't wait to get out and explore.
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You see, a little thing happened this summer.

Stars aligned and we discovered something....or, re-discovered something really.   
I grew up, quite literally, in the middle of a field. Acres and acres surrounded us, with the Rocky Mountains in the distance and the biggest, bluest sky up above. We spent a lot of time outdoors--picnicking, camping, fishing with my dad. And it didn't end when the weather turned cold--we went sledding often, climbed mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree, and I even remember spending one [January] birthday outdoors, sledding and opening presents in the snow.

Robby also grew up spending much of his time outdoors--hiking, backpacking, and exploring in the foothills where he grew up. When we married, we acquired new camping gear as wedding gifts, and spent part of our  honeymoon in Glacier National Park.

We were off to a good start.

But lives soon got busy. 
Full time work and school for both of us left little time to play. 
We managed to squeeze in a little snowboarding in the winter, and that was about it for adventures.

A baby boy came and we camped a few times, the boy strapped on our backs and up for anything.

A baby girl came next, ant that's when things really slowed down. 

Exploring with a toddler and a baby just wasn't going to happen......going to the store with the two was adventure enough for me.

So a few years passed. We attempted camping a couple of times, and each time spent the night with a crying baby in the car. Oh the joys.

But this year. 

This year was different.

The Littles are finally able to go. 

And go, and go and go. 

They run, they hike, they climb. 
And then they ask for more.

This year we have been lucky enough to find ourselves in the great outdoors over and over again.

I feel like I have found myself all over again--there is no place I am happier than being outside in the colors and fresh air with my family. 

It is overwhelmingly perfect.

The colors are unreal right now as fall continues to take over the mountains.
No photo can capture exactly what it feels like to stand in a meadow surrounded by blazing reds, oranges, and golds.

This weekend we found a new favorite spot up Tibble Fork, followed by a hike uuuuuupppppp the mountain to the Timpanogos Caves. If you find yourselves in the mood for the steep climb to the caves (1100 ft in 1.5 miles, but all smooth paved trail)--we would recommend it. The Littles couldn't believe they were actually INSIDE a mountain, and while they were a bit disappointed we didn't see any bats, they can't wait to get up there again. 
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photos taken near Tibble Fork in American Fork Canyon, and hiking up Mt. Timpanogos to the caves.

the end.

see more outdoor adventures here here and here